Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)

Homeownership unattainable for many Kelowna residents

Single-person and single-parent households often have limited options when it comes to housing

Homeownership is out of reach for many Kelowna residents, according to a regional housing needs assessment compiled by the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO).

The assessment states median income couples in Kelowna, while often able to afford an average-priced condo for less than 30 per cent of their income, find townhouses and single-family dwellings out of their reach. For median income single-parent or single-person households, the report found there are no affordable homeownership options based on average pricing.

As far as rentals go, the report states couple households can typically afford to rent all housing types in Kelowna but lone-parent households can only afford bachelor or one-bedroom housing units. There are no affordable rentals for single-person households, the report stated.

The report states the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to grow, a population particularly vulnerable to housing unaffordability.

The RDCO is expecting almost 60,000 more people to move into the region by 2036, resulting in the demand for approximately 26,000 housing units. A good chunk of the units needed to address the housing issues is expected to be multi-unit housing, such as apartments and townhouses.

The B.C. government mandated that municipalities and regional governments across the province must complete housing needs assessments by April 2022, and once every five years subsequently. The city, while having completed a similar assessment in 2017, was forced to use one compiled in November 2019 by the RDCO as its report didn’t meet provincial requirements due to it taking place before the legislation change.

The RDCO report was presented to Kelowna council on Monday (Jan. 26), allowing the city to meet the provincial requirement.

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Central Okanagan Regional DistrictCity of Kelowna